Ending

Let Me In

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When Jongwoon made his way towards the school backyard, there were only a few people hanging in the surroundings. This was because night classes were canceled due to a sudden teachers’ meeting, and the only ones left were a few couples a distance away, all immersed in their own world.

As he approached a nearby willow tree, he saw a figure standing there, seemingly waiting for someone. At first sight, he already knew that it was Hyukjae, and for some reason, his heart gave an involuntary leap.

At night, the school backyard was a mesmerizing place. The trees had lights hung on their branches as well as the statue atop the center fountain. When he approached closer to Hyukjae, a feeling of warm anticipation built up inside him for a reason he couldn’t fathom. Although he had come to this same spot several times before when students asked him out here to confess, this time felt different.

It even felt like he was the one going to confess and not the other way around.

“...Hyukjae.”

Hyukjae’s shoulders jolted in surprise at the sound of the voice and he swiveled his head towards Jongwoon, eyes wide and nervous.

‘H–He’s here…! Oh my god!’

Jongwoon suppressed the urge to smile. Now he understood Hyukjae’s nervous thoughts yesterday.

It wasn’t because he was afraid of him.

It was because he liked him.

“Oh… y–you’re here,” Hyukjae said lamely.

‘Real smooth, Lee Hyukjae! Damn it…’

Jongwoon’s lips upturned slightly. “Yes… I have something to talk to you about.”

Hyukjae gulped visibly. “W–W–What is it?”

Where did the confidence you displayed in your dream go? Jongwoon thought to himself in amusement as he took a step forward.

“Hey…” he said softly, getting straight to the point. “Do you like me?”

Hyukjae froze.

‘What the ?! Who told him???’

Jongwoon tilted his head curiously. “Oh… you don’t? Guess I was mistaken…”

Hyukjae seemed to snap out of his panicked state in an instant. “What? O–Of course not! I mean, y–yeah, yeah, I do!” he burst out. “I–I do like you…!”

Jongwoon smiled faintly. “You do…?”

Hyukjae nodded. “Yes! I…” He hung his head shyly, fingers nervously playing with each other. “I’ve been liking you for… for a long time now…”

Jongwoon stepped closer. “I see.”

Hyukjae lifted his head at Jongwoon’s brief response and was instantly met with Jongwoon’s face inching nearer to his own. Hyukjae in a breath, mesmerized at the display of beauty right before his eyes. His heart began pounding erratically in his chest, deafening his eardrums.

Ever so slowly, Jongwoon reached out with his two hands and cupped each side of Hyukjae’s face. Hyukjae let out a startled noise at the back of his throat and shut his eyes instinctively.

Jongwoon closed his own eyes as well, but instead of leaning in, he channeled the power from his fingertips into Hyukjae’s brain instead, his entire being filled with energy and concentration.

Hyukjae felt his mind slowly go blank, and it seemed like his soul was temporarily leaving his body, sending him into a deep trance as though his time was paused.

“...I’m sorry for this,” Jongwoon apologized softly as he silently went through Hyukjae’s memories, starting from when he was a baby. The scenes flickered in his head like multiple moving photographs; so bright and vivid, so surreal.

And then things began to slow down, deliberately.

Now he was in the body of a young Hyukjae, staring at a young Jongwoon with admiration in his heart. That was the time when he introduced himself for the first time in class.

[Flip.]

He was Hyukjae staring at Jongwoon longingly, chest filled with happiness when Jongwoon helped him with his homework. They’d been kids and seatmates at that time.

[Flip.]

He was Hyukjae defending Jongwoon’s honor from a couple of arrogant students badmouthing him behind his back. When they insulted Jongwoon’s adoptive parents for taking him in, Hyukjae kicked them in the chest and it resulted into a big fight. They ended up getting detention after class.

[Flip.]

He was Hyukjae smiling like an idiot when Jongwoon passed by him in the corridor, happy that he got a glimpse of his first love during a hard day at school. He failed his quizzes yesterday and got a heavy scolding from his mother, so he was in a bad mood, but one look at Jongwoon and brushing past so quickly made his mood elevate as though he weren’t angry in the first place.

[Flip.]

He was Hyukjae watching Jongwoon eat alone in his secret place on the roof, thoughts filled with wanting to accompany him and be someone Jongwoon could talk to and be comfortable with.

He paused for a while, feeling his throat going dry at the realization.

Hyukjae saw true loneliness in Jongwoon’s eyes instead of arrogance and aloofness.

“I’ve been liking you for… for a long time now…”

Hyukjae’s words came back to him in that instant, and he felt his heart melt just a little.

“I’ll embrace them all.”

But unfortunately, Hyukjae’s devotion was not what Jongwoon was supposed to be searching for. Channeling more of his concentration, he navigated throughout the various memories in Hyukjae’s mind until he finally found them.

The memory of the shooting.

Oh.

He’d been there, too…?

Hyukjae ... had been there at the scene.

Jongwoon watched, in Hyukjae’s own eyes, as Jungsoo clearly ran away from the scene, waving towards Kyuhyun as the latter got the car ready. When the ambulance arrived, they successfully zoomed away.

Hyukjae then watched, frozen, as the paramedics asked Heechul if he was all right. He was with Donghae who had just arrived at the scene, looking very confused. Hyukjae joined them afterwards, but did not say anything about Jungsoo, only finding it a bit weird, but nothing alarming.

Until the police soon asked him if he saw anything weird on that day, and that there was a clear bullet hole in Heechul’s shirt.

He had thought of Jungsoo immediately, but held his tongue quickly. He felt betrayed and wanted to clear it up with Heechul first before telling what he knew.

So he wasn’t bluffing after all, Jongwoon thought to himself mildly.

I’m sorry for messing with your head like this, Hyukjae… but I need to erase that part of your memory.

Jongwoon took a deep breath, then, with a burst of energy, made the memory of Jungsoo and Kyuhyun on that day in Hyukjae’s mind dissipate into thin air, eradicating it forever.

Jongwoon let go of Hyukjae’s face when it was over, panting slightly.

When Hyukjae opened his eyes, he looked confused.

“Oh…?” he muttered, bringing up a hand to his head, rubbing it slightly. “I feel… kinda strange…”

Jongwoon in a breath before responding. “As I was saying…” he said calmly, catching the younger’s attention.

Hyukjae lifted his startled eyes to Jongwoon’s face as though surprised that he was there. “Oh?? J–Jongwoon-hyung…?! Ah… what happened… oh, wait…”

‘What happened before…? Wait! God, I confessed to him, didn’t I?! What did he say?? Did I black out or something??’

Jongwoon smiled, feeling a heavy burden lift from his shoulders. “As I was saying…” he repeated softly. “…I accept it. Your confession.”

Hyukjae stared at him, mouth gaping open in shock. “No way…” he uttered aloud in disbelief.

Jongwoon couldn’t help it. The look on Hyukjae’s face was so cute, so innocent, so adorable, it was so refreshing. He let out a string of chuckles, covering his mouth with his hand to try to stifle more laughter from escaping his lips.

Meanwhile, Hyukjae stared at him in amazement.

‘He’s… laughing…’

‘It sounds so… beautiful…’

“Are you sure you’ll be okay with having me?” Jongwoon said once his chuckles died down, gazing at Hyukjae with deep, penetrating eyes. “We can get to know each other first if you want.”

Maybe I’ll take a risk with someone too… like Jungsoo-hyung.

“I… I…” Hyukjae stammered, still in disbelief. His cheeks were tainted a pretty pink. “S–Sure! Of course! Wh–Whatever you’re comfortable with!”

Maybe soon, when we’re closer… when I feel like I can trust you…

I’ll tell you the truth about me, too.

“Okay,” Jongwoon said softly, taking Hyukjae’s hand in his and pulling him close, earning him a surprised noise from the latter. “Take care of me well, Hyukjae-ya.”

He then leaned in, tilted his head, and pressed his lips against Hyukjae’s cheek.

The adorable blush that immediately appeared on the younger’s cheeks made Jongwoon feel like it was worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meanwhile…

 

 

“I can not believe that that idiot seduced him instead of convincing him not to tell the police!” Kyuhyun exclaimed in a loud whisper from their hiding place in the bushes nearby. “Why is he suddenly flirting with that damn human! Gross!”

Jungsoo rolled his eyes from beside him. “We witnessed Jongwoon erasing his memory. Everything is okay now. Let your brother date anybody he wants in peace.”

“Of course you support him,” Kyuhyun snapped. “You’re in love with a human, too. God, this planet is dangerous for us to live in. You two keep getting tempted by these foreign life forms!”

Jungsoo was already standing up and walking away. “You’ll understand when you fall in love too, Kyuhyun-ah.”

Kyuhyun groaned. Why were his brothers so emotionally weak? Was he the only normal alien around here?

“Sheesh, fine, do whatever you want, I won’t care anymore…” Kyuhyun muttered under his breath, shoving his hands inside his pockets as he reluctantly followed after Jungsoo.


 

 

 

fin

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